Trump backs sentencing reform, hits Bill Clinton for 1994 anti-crime law

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By Jonathan Allen  with NBC News Politics
Donald Trump
Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pledged his support to a major overhaul of sentencing laws and prisoner re-entry programs at the White House Wednesday.

Trump's backing for the package, which is still being drafted in the Senate, has been seen as a key factor in providing political cover for Republicans and Democrats to vote for an overhaul that would diminish criminal penalties for some offenders and make it easier for former inmates to find work.

Trump framed a planned reduction in certain mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and other proposed sentencing provisions as a bid to fix President Bill Clinton's 1994 anti-crime law.

"It rolls back some of the provisions of the Clinton crime law that disproportionately harmed [the] African-American community," Trump said at a White House event.

He thanked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been the White House point person on criminal justice reform efforts.

"He feels very deeply about it," Trump said.